Well my annual board of directors meeting has concluded. Thanks to Alice in Dairyland, Kaitlyn Riley, for being our meeting’s Keynote Speaker. As I have done at my annual meeting, I would like to recap the 2018 year. Back in 2009, my executive committee developed what we call strategic goals for the corporation to achieve annually. Most of the goals tie directly into what most people think of for economic development organizations. So I will highlight some of 2018 as it pertains to my goals.
Building Construction of 100,000 square feet annually – this year we worked on projects that resulted in 92,200 s.f. While we have additional projects that have broken ground in Cuba City and Muscoda, those projects will be counted in 2019.
Prospects, or new businesses that directly contact my office about coming to or expanding in Grant County – we have a goal of 25. This year we had 31 prospects, so it was a very solid year.
Funding for municipalities and businesses has an annual goal of $300,000. In other words, I work on projects and assist in acquiring capital or program funding for them. This year we worked to bring in $445,000 for several different projects.
Retention is one of the most important duties that I have. My goal is to meet with at least one existing business per week. This goal is pretty easily met with the number and variety of companies that we have in the county.
Our website, grantcounty.org, is our primary marketing tool. We work with our web designer and master, WebWise Design in Fennimore, to keep it current. Our goal is to have 100,000 “hits” to our site annually. This year we fell a little short with an estimated 71,600 hits, which is still a strong number. We know we are viewed by people all over the United States and other countries.
Another goal is to develop and build up our revolving loan fund program. The future of our revolving loan funds was a hot topic in Grant County this year. To be proactive, Grant County Economic Development created our own loan program 2 years ago. Our goal is to build the total assets of the loan program to at least $100,000 by the year 2020. We added $8,000 this year, which brought our total assets to $28,712. We will continue to grow this program to make this tool stronger for our businesses to utilize.
Finally, thanks to all of my communities and the county, as well as its businesses and people, for a successful 2018. Without all of you, the corporation would not succeed. I look forward to working with you all in 2019.
Ron Brisbois, Executive Director for Grant County Economic Development Corporation.